Zombie Trade Mark
A Zombie trade mark is a special type of trade mark which has been abandoned or is in the name of an organisation that no longer trades. Unlike their name, zombie trade marks can be extremely useful when considering what trade marks to use. This is because, as many people have now realised after about 150 years of trade mark registration, the trade mark registers are beginning to get ‘full’ and novel ideas are becoming more and more tricky.
What Should I Consider When Reviving A Zombie?
Most importantly, you need to ensure that the trade mark is no longer in use. You must conduct your due diligence and ensure that the owner of the trade mark has truly abandoned it. You must consider the potential issues and costs surrounding the wrongful use of someone trade marks, so be very sure the trade mark is dead! Otherwise, you could face a passing-off claim or cease and desist letter/injunction, but worse face a complete re-brand.
If you can, why not reach out to the original users and ask? Opening a friendly dialogue cannot be overstated, even on Halloween!
Some important things to consider in your due diligence:
- How, when and where is the trade mark registered
- Will you be using the mark in a similar class to that previously registered
- Has the original owner of the mark changed their name and are they still trading?
- Ensure you check ownership of the mark as best you can
- Can you find any unregistered rights about the mark, what about goodwill?
- If you revive the mark, will it conflict with any other registered marks?
- If it was in the name or a company check that it has not been assigned to an individual or maybe the other-way round
If you need any help with bringing your zombies back to life, please reach out to the team at ACLF who will be delighted to help. We carry out the requisite searches, register your marks and if necessary defend any action taken against you.
Don’t get a scare this Halloween let us check the closet for you and pull out any ghosts or zombies hanging around.
Have a wonderful All Hallows’ Eve.